Mephisto 3270 – The terminal puzzle?

Posted on Categories Mephisto

I didn’t have much difficulty with this one, although the pun was even more excruciating than usual.     There are a few obscure literals that you have to check in Chambers, but this is scarcely a novelty in Mephisto.

I was quite tired, but still managed to get most of it done before going to bed.   I nearly finished the next morning, but weete remained strangely elusive – until I looked at it and said you dummy, that’s got to be some sort of derivative of the Anglo-Saxon verb witan – just the sort of form you might find in Chaucer or Spenser after a little mangling, and so it proved.   All done.

And you?

1 Softer bunch of fines herbes (6)
NESHER – Hidden in [fi]NES HER[bes].   Nesher is not actually in Chambers, but you can add -er to nearly any adjective.
6 Salad? It must be polished off in haste (6)
CELERY –  CELER[it]Y – it took me a while to see the cryptic.
10 Power supplier transformed a personal line (10, two words)
11 Filled rolls put on board during open-ended reveille (8)
13 Couple welcoming start of va-va-voom under this? (5)
DUVET – DU(V[a-va-voom]ET.
14 Brashly open up what’s iterated in book’s head-to-head revisions (7)
OVERREV –  O + VER + REV.   The O is the letter that’s repeated in book.
16 No need to drop this old decoration in fighter’s uniform (5)
GIMME – GI(MM)E, a gie is a judo outfit and MM is Military Medal.   The literal refers to golf.
17 Catch Io wandering all over the place? (7)
CHAOTIC –  Anagram of CATCH IO.
19 In Sussex wicket is extremely large commonly (5)
STOOL –  ‘S TOO L.   The wicket in stool-ball.
21 Cross cook stretched by one or other lacking energy (5)
DSOMO – D(SOM[e])O – a hybrid animal, that is.
22 Disapprove of being engulfed by smoke (7)
CENSURE – C(ENS)URE.   Being in the philosophical sense.
24 Glyndebourne’s final festivals generally supposed to be evils (5)
EALES – [Glyndebourn]E + ALE.   The literal refers to the interpretation of a typo in Shakespeare.
28 Having a hump rat impressively turned over ecstasy (7)
GIBBOSE –  S.O.B, BIG backwards + E.
29 Expression of joy among Central Africans (5)
TRALA – Hidden in [Cen]TRAL A[fricans]…..central, you might say.
30 Being a sport Sally informally went in (8)
31 A price in catalogue, one with agreed exposure that’s rare (10)
APRICATION – A PR I’ CAT, I + ON, quite simple when you think about it.
32 Serial duress in action? (6)
SUDSER – Anagram of DURESS, a soap opera.
33 I’m in material being 50 per cent cut back as comparatively sylvan? (6)
ELMIER – RE(I’M)LE[vant], all backwards.
1 Little ordinary in pretty much careless Finn, perhaps (6)
NORDIC –  NOR[m] + DIC[y].   I would not call the Finns a Nordic people because they speak a non-Indo-European language, but that’s just me.
2 Idea shogun abandoned, there’s no need to go on (10, two words)
3 Primitive sound breaches sacred sound (7)
HOLESOM – HOLES + OM.   Primitive in the sense of a crude form of the word.
4 Present ignored prior uplift (5)
ELATE – [pr]ELATE, where prior is a noun referring to a clergyman.
5 Excellent and acceptable gas (5)
6 Date dispensed with integrity in place of split (7)
CREVICE – CRE[d] + VICE.  Think of street cred and vice-versa.
7 Around Réunion the air streams change for Maldivian (5)
LAARI –  LA + anagram of AIR.
8 Exceedingly good joke upset right timid sort no end (8)
ENORMOUS –  ONE backwards + R + MOUS[e].
9 Unknown prize left for right tool of a surveyor (6)
Y-LEVEL – Y + LEVE(+L,-r), where prize and lever are both verbs.
12 Place evoking warm nostalgia — namely, Rome in ruins, bro? (10, two words)
15 Old hand back getting in old porridge? (8)
GAOLBIRD –  I can’t see this as anything more than a cryptic definition.  The first commenter has it – LA(O)G backwards + BIRD.
18 You’ll find mineral in waste box (7, two words)
ICE SPAR – WASTE + BOX.   Both words in both the cryptic and the answer are verbs.
20 Setting quartz in hot jewellery is imperial Russian’s realm (7)
TSARDOM – T(SARD)OM.   Tom refers to the CRS for jewellery, Tom foolery.
21 Doctor grades a result of livestock farming (6)
DEGRAS – Anagram of GRADES.
23 Always with amateur for very high-level reason for deviation (6)
25 Closure of the British Library is a devil (5)
EBLIS – [th]E + BL + IS.
26 Heretofore know I’ll admit what curlers aim for on rising (5)
WEETE – W(TEE upside-down)E.   The royal we, presumably.
27 Handle stone then rest up (5)
STEIL – ST + LIE upside-down.

16 comments on “Mephisto 3270 – The terminal puzzle?”

  1. Thanks Vinyl for the useful and informative blog. Enjoyable puzzle- I had rather more difficulty with this than usual. Learnt about tom as CRS, and never heard of stool ball despite being a cricket obsessive. I think the cryptic in 15 down refers to LAG (old hand) reversed containing O (old) + BIRD (porridge as in jail time). Please could someone provide reference to the shakespearean typo for 24 across- I couldnt find it on google.

    1. Stoolball: a regional sport, really – most popular in Sussex, where Paul McKenna and I were at the same school for a year or two, though without knowing of each other’s interest in crosswords. With Glyndebourne in a clue, there’s another bit of Sussex, and Paul might have been thinking of the Eastbourne Eagles for the speedway “memory lane” answer.

      Eale: in at least some editions of Hamlet, “eale” is a mysterious word in the text, which according to Chambers is “generally supposed to be for ‘evil’ but perhaps a misprint.

  2. I parsed Nordic as ORD in NIC (Chambers has careless as one of the meanings of nice).
    Mostly quite straightforward, although I had to cheat for weete – but can anyone explain what bro is doing in the memory lane clue?

      1. BRO is a second definition, and also the second definition in Chambers: a place for which one feels great affinity

  3. Fun puzzle, romped through in one setting, though I feel a little silly, I still don’t understand the pun.

      1. NECESSARILY. Hence my comment about how Sean Connery would have actually pronounced it.

    1. Heretofore (ie archaic) know. Weet/weete in Chambers refers you to the second def of wit.

    1. As Vinyl says, we is the royal we, for I, and it surrounds upside down tee, the thing curlers aim at. The def is “heretofore know”, indicating an old word for know. Hope this makes sense.

  4. Don’t know why sunbathing is considered here “rare.” I do it once a week, weather permitting, in the late spring, summer, early fall… But I will remember APRICATION (which spellcheck doesn’t want to believe).

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